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Soil and tree resilience after forest wildfire in Southern Italy

 

In Switzerland, 374 ha of forest are burning each year. Warmer regions like Southern Italy experience larger wildfire risk. In 2017, more than 11 km2 of the forested Vesuvius' slopes above the city of Naples were ravaged by large-scale wildfires. Since that date, even some seriously damaged pine stands have started to regenerate, thus underlining the current knowledge gaps regarding the resilience of European forests after wildfire. A research project from the University of Campania (Prof. Dr. G. Battipaglia) studies the resilience of burnt pine forests as a function of wildfire severity. In the present study, responses in the soil and sun-crown foliage are investigated in addition and collaboration. The foreseen methods include Rock Eval pyrolysis and several microscopy techniques, with assessment of soil material, wood increments and foliar generations developed since 2017. The expected results should contribute to better mechanistic understanding of forest resilience after wildfire.

 

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